How to Remove Odors From Teva Sandals

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Teva sandals are made to hold up to rugged outdoor adventures, provide superior traction, and dry quickly. As is true of all shoes, however, Tevas can start to smell when bacteria collect in them. This bacteria can come from sweaty feet or any rivers and creeks you may have played in while enjoying the great outdoors. Fortunately, killing the bacteria eliminates the smell and is easy to do with items you probably already have in your kitchen.


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What Not to Do

Tevas are quite easy to clean by hand, and that's how you should go about doing so. Teva advises against cleaning their shoes in a washing machine, no matter what type of sandal or shoe you have. When drying your Tevas after a wash, make sure you keep them out of direct sunlight. Exposure to the sun can shrink the shoes.


You'll also want to exercise caution if any part of your sandals contains leather. Clean leather sandals with nubuck leather cleaner and avoid immersing them in water or other liquids. You'll need to skip over any cleaning steps that could saturate the leather, but all other cleaning methods work just as well on leather as they do other materials.

Things You'll Need

How to Remove Odors From Teva Sandals

Step 1: Wash Them in the Sink

Giving your Tevas a good cleaning with soap and water may be enough to eliminate minor odors. For best results, use an antimicrobial soap when cleaning your sandals.


  1. Apply some warm, soapy water to the straps of your sandals. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to work the soapy water into the fabric.
  2. Wash the top and bottom of the sole of your shoes using the same method. If necessary, carefully flex the soles of the shoes to open up the nooks and crannies in the rubber to make cleaning a bit easier.
  3. Thoroughly rinse your Tevas. Dry the straps as well as you can with a towel and then set your shoes out to dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.



Wash your Teva sandals every two to four weeks to keep them clean and odor-free.

Step 2: Disinfect Them

If washing your sandals didn't eliminate all the odor, your next move is an antibacterial mouthwash. This will kill any stubborn bacteria that the soap left behind.

  1. Mix 1 cup of mouthwash and 2 cups of water in a bucket.
  2. Drop your Tevas into the bucket and allow them to soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Scrub the fabric areas of your shoes with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  4. Let the shoes air dry in a well-ventilated area.


Step 3: Take a Dip in Chlorine

Although not an option for everyone, you can use a chlorinated swimming pool or hot tub to clean your sandals. Chlorine is a powerful germ killer and works on Tevas as well as it does in a swimming pool.

  1. Drop your Tevas into the pool or hot tub.
  2. Allow them to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the sandals from the pool and scrub any fabric parts with a toothbrush.
  4. Let the Tevas air-dry.


Step 4: Freeze Them

Eliminating odors from your shoes is all about killing off bacteria, and freezing temperatures will do just that. The beauty of freezing your shoes is that it works for all Tevas, including those with leather straps that you can't wet down.

  1. Make sure your shoes are completely dry.
  2. Place your shoes in a large Ziploc bag and seal it. You may need to use one bag per shoe depending on your shoe size. If desired, you can also sprinkle baking soda into the bag with the shoes or onto the shoes themselves.
  3. Place the bagged shoes in your freezer and leave them there overnight.
  4. Remove your shoes from the freezer. Let them warm up a bit before you wear them again so you don't stress the frozen rubber soles.


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